Please note: This article is about the infamous Kuni Daimyo. For other uses of the term, please see Yori (disambiguation).
Kuni Yori 
Kuni Yori.jpg 
Born: Unknown 
Died: 1128 
Died after return:
Parents: Kuni Kaiden 
Siblings: Unnamed Brother 
Spouse: None 
Children: Kuni Fujiko,
Isawa Yoriko 
Titles: Kuni Daimyo

No man has ever been spoken of with more fear than Kuni Yori. Those who met him never forgot his piercing eyes, eerie voice and his sarcastic smile when he talked. Other shugenja whispered his soul had been taken by the Shadowlands. [1]

Early Years[edit | edit source]

Appearance[edit | edit source]

In his younger years Yori studied under his uncle to become a shugenja. [2] Tall and pale, with a long mustache, he had a large mystic symbol painted over his features. Yori dressed in the dark velvet robes of the Kuni Shugenja. [3]

Father[edit | edit source]

His father Kuni Kaiden, the Kuni Daimyo, had secretly betrayed the Crab and became the leader of a cell of Bloodspeakers seduced by Yajinden, who had given Kaiden one of the Four Masks of Iuchiban. When Kaiden enacted a ritual to find the other three Masks and free Iuchiban, he activated a curse on the mask which brought his own downfall. Yori and his brother defeated and killed him in the winter of 1109, but Yori's brother died in the process. [2]

A Tainted Daimyo[edit | edit source]

Kuni Yori

Yori was able to unlock the curse of the Mask, and took it for study. Yajinden appeared to him and both made a bargain. He would teach the Kuni all his knowledge, and Yori became Yajinden's ally. Yori became more powerful and succeeded his father, becoming the daimyo of the Kuni. [2]

As Daimyo he would keep tabs on other shugenja to know what work they were doing. He would often enter other Kuni residences unannounced. His knowledge of the Shadowlands was extensive and he wrote numerous treaties on the biology and magical nature of Shadowlands denizens. He was the sole caretaker of the works of Kuni Mokuna, [4] his great-great grandfather. [5] Some said his interests had gone too far and it was rumored the Shadowlands denizens knew his name and feared him. He had the ear of the Crab Clan Champion Hida Kisada and would advise him in times of emergencies. Kisada would not believe that Yori had been compromised by the Shadowlands. Yori never spoke to someone unless he wanted something from them and few could tolerate his presence for longer than a few minutes. [4]

Gathering Goblin Knowledge[edit | edit source]

Yori knew of the existence of the Big Stink, a unique goblin city and traveled there several times. On each visit he learned about the bakemono, knowledge he passed to his Clan. He did not inform how he had found this information. [6]

Doomseeker Legend[edit | edit source]

It was Yajinden who told Yori the legends of the Doomseeker, the title of those who once battled the khadi. Yajinden could not directly act against his master Iuchiban, and that was why he needed Yori. Bringing the Doomseekers legacy to Rokugan would be later used as a weapon against his master. [7]

Kuni Daimyo[edit | edit source]

Defending the Kuni Fortress[edit | edit source]

In 1118 Yori was present during the Battle of Twilight's Honor, when a Shadowlands army assaulted the castle. The arrival of Kisada [8] turned the tide. The castle was saved, but the defenders were nearly obliterated. [9]

Doomseeker Karasu[edit | edit source]

Yori attended a terribly disfigured Unicorn, Iuchi Karasu, who had been captured by the undead Moto Tsume when traveling in the Shadowlands. Karasu had survived the Tsume's torture and escaped. Yori healed the young man and befriended him. Around 1120, Yori set Karasu up to marry his cousin, Kuni Hiruko. [10] Karasu embraced the ancient Unicorn tradition of the Doomseeker, those who brings death to the undying. Yori approved of Karasu's oath and forged an iron mask for him in the tradition of the Doomseekers of old. [11]

Winter court - Kyuden Seppun[edit | edit source]

Yori was the Crab representative in the Emperor's winter court at Kyuden Seppun in winter 1122-1123. At that point it was publicly known that he was allied with the Scorpion Clan Champion Bayushi Shoju. [9]

Scorpion Coup[edit | edit source]

When news arrived of the Scorpion Coup, Kisada assembled an army that joined the combined forces of the Great Clans at Otosan Uchi in the fourth day of the Coup. Hida Yakamo, Kuni Yori, and Kaiu Suman were part of the Crab forces. [12] His daughter Kuni fujiko died this very same day in the Imperial Palace, after she was pressed by Bayushi Shoju. [13]

Daughters[edit | edit source]

Kuni Fujiko was the unacknowledged daughter of Kuni Yori. [14] She died during the Coup. Two years later Yori had an illegitimate daughter, who was fosterd to the Isawa to avoid any dynastic conflicts should Yori have had legitimate children again. [15]

Winter Court - 1126[edit | edit source]

In 1126, Yori assisted to Imperial Winter Court at Kyuden Asako with his retinue Kuni Nakiro and Hida Ekiken, his yojimbo. He was dearly greeted by the Master of Fire Isawa Tsuke and his hatamoto Isawa Eizan, but nearly rebuked by the Asako Daimyo Asako Togama, because of the rumors about an ill alliance of the Crab with the Shadowlands. Asako Miyo, an Asako Henshin and Togama's assitant, surprised the court by rushing the Crab Daimyo's retinue. The young Henshin moved too quickly for Ekiken to stop her, and when Nariko attempted to restrain her with magic, Miyo's innate magic resistance (likely the result of her Henshin training) protected her. Moving past Yori's protectors, Miyo pulled out a jade baton and slapped him across the face, hoping the sacred stone would burn the Kuni and prove him tainted. However, aside from breaking his lip, the attack did nothing, and in fact was a serious insult to the Crab Clan. Blades and scrolls were drawn to retaliate the insult, so Shiba Ujimitsu was forced to step in to stop the ensuing brawl. Yori, however, did not take umbrage, and instead smoothly thanked Miyo for proving him pure, shaming the Phoenix. [16]

The Henshin Exposed[edit | edit source]

Yori sought an alliance with Tsuke, but the Phoenix was a bit overeager to accept it. [17] Yori manipulated the families of the Phoenix Clan to fight amongst themselves by using the insane Asako Oyo as a pawn to demonstrate the secrets of immortality held by the Asako to the Isawa. This ensured that the Phoenix spent the next several months occupied with their ancient rivalry and oblivious to the machinations of the Crab. [18] Oyo had been found by his apprentice Nakiro while studying in Phoenix lands, and Yori had used the discovery to devise a plot that could destroy the Phoenix Clan's status in the Empire. [19]

Joining the Shadowlands[edit | edit source]

En route home, he and his entourage were attacked by the undead general Tsukuro, who offered Yori a chance for true power, a place beside Fu Leng himself, if he aided the Horde in betraying Kisada, and Yori willingly agreed. [20]

Clan War[edit | edit source]

In 1124 the Crab Clan Champion Hida Kisada had ordered Yori to find a way for the Crab to wage war and seize the throne. Yori proposed an alliance of convenience with the Shadowlands, [21] which was eventually accepted by Kisada despite his first rejection. [22] In 1126, early in the Clan War, [23] Yori sealed the dark alliance with the Shadowlands, which was sanctioned by Kisada. [24] Kisada wished to forge a new, strong dynasty, instead the weak Hantei Emperor on the throne. The Crab army marched towards Beiden Pass, [25] and Yori crossed the Kaiu Wall to meet the Oni who was later named Yakamo no Oni. [26]

Opening the Touch of Fu Leng[edit | edit source]

Yori uses the power of the Touch of Fu Leng

Yori researched two of the black scrolls, [27] and one of them was the Touch of Fu Leng. [28] After a particularly brutal battle against the Crane Clan Yori visited Hida Amoro to offer the Berserker a way to fight without having to worry about his own men being killed and Amoro accepted. The shugenja opened the Black Scroll and raised all of the fallen on the battlefield as zombies, who were commanded by an amulet given to Amoro. [29]

Yakamo's Claw[edit | edit source]

Kuni Yori with Yakamo's Claw

During the fights of the Scorpion Coup Mirumoto Hitomi had cut off Yakamo's hand. [30] Yori manipulated Hida Kisada into allowing a large claw to replace Yakamo's lost hand. [31] Yakamo in turn gave his name to the oni that the claw had come from, Yakamo no Oni, and an alliance was forged between the Shadowlands and the Crab Clan. [32] The first time the oni was seen alongside Yakamo was in 1127, during the attack to the Imperial Legions camped nearby Ryoko Owari Toshi. [33]

Sukune Sacrified to Fu Leng[edit | edit source]

Terrible Standard of Fu Leng

After initial failures at the Battle of Beiden Pass, Kuni Yori had a group of zombies beat Hida Sukune to near death. Yori only kept him alive to sacrifice him to Fu Leng. Yori convinced Hida Kisada that it was his orders that killed Sukune because of his failures at Beiden pass. [34] Yori requested Sukune his sacrifice. It would strengthen their alliance with the darkness, and secure the future of the Crab. Sukune refused and Yori stabbed him in the back. [35] After a dark ritual Yori performed with the Black Scroll A Terrible Oath, [36] Sukune was nailed to the war banner known as the Terrible Standard of Fu Leng. [34]

The Doom of Fu Leng[edit | edit source]

The Eleventh Black Scroll, the Doom of Fu Leng, had been stolen by Uragirimono at the command of Yogo Junzo in 1127. [37] Somehow it passed to Yori, who in turn passed the Scroll to Kuni Wazinu, an apprentice to Yori for many years. Wazinu believed that any sacrifice that furthers the cause of the Crab was well worth it, including his own soul. He led a Crab force that assaulted the Four Temples at Kyuden Seppun, in an attempt to taint the four Chimes of Purity. During the attack the Black Scroll was opened, [38] in the Month of the Ox. [39]

Siding with the Hantei[edit | edit source]

By the time the Crab launched their attack on Otosan Uchi, Yori had already fully joined the shadowlands. He stood at the gates of the Imperial Palace while Hida Kisada's assault failed. [40] Yori acting under the orders of the Emperor used the Black Scroll A Terrible Oath to sacrifice those Crab within Otosan Uchi who did not choose to follow the Hantei. The presents were granted with the foul power of Fu Leng. [41]

Second Day of the Thunder[edit | edit source]

Yori survived the battle on the Second Day of Thunder at Otosan Uchi in 1128. [42] After the fight was over, he entered the Imperial Palace and stole the head of the dead Emperor, Hantei XXXIX, from the funeral pyre. [43]

Fallen to the Shadowlands[edit | edit source]

Undead Kuni Yori

Kuni Yori killed himself in a maho ritual, becoming an undead. [44]

Writings of Kuni Yori[edit | edit source]

In the Shadowlands, after the Second Day of Thunder, Kuni Yori wrote Oaths and Betrayals and began to build himself a following among the vile creatures he had grown to understand. [45]

Porcelain Mask[edit | edit source]

Kuni Yori

Kuni Yori improved his appearance slightly by means of a Porcelain Mask. [46]

Hiruma Castle[edit | edit source]

Yori besieged Kyuden Hiruma against his former Crab Clan brothers in 1131. [47] With the skull of Fu Leng Yori enacted a ritual and restored Moto Tsume to unlife. Tsume immediately swore fealty to Yori. [48] Tsume captured Hida Yakamo [49] when the Crab Thunder was traveling alone in the Shi-Khan Wastes, in his attempt to reach the Kaiu Wall seeking reinforcements. Yakamo was moved to the Sepulcher of Bone and Yori tortured him to death. [50]

Failed Bargain[edit | edit source]

Yori demanded to the castle commander, Hiruma Yoshi his surrender, and threw the helmet of Yakamo as an evidence of his imprisonement. The Hiruma Daimyo offered Yori a bargain, the entire Hiruma family willingly would join the ranks of the Shadowlands in exchange of the life of Yakamo. Yoshi opened the gates of the castle and took the hand of Yori. At the same time the Crab reinforcements led by Hida Yasamura and Hida O-Ushi were sighted, and Yoshi tried to kill Kuni Yori with jade, but Yoshi was killed instead and the castle taken. [51]

Hidden Emperor and the Shadow[edit | edit source]

This year in the ruins of the Hiruma Castle Jama Suru convinced Yori to send him to the Morikage Mori, to search the Shadows. Yori did not trust his servant and Suru was escorted by Kyoso no Oni. [52]

War in the Shadowlands[edit | edit source]

Yori defied by Kyoso

The same year Goju Adorai contacted Yori, revealing the confusion the Lying Darkness provoked between Ikoma Tsanuri and the Crab, which was instrumental in the delay of Hida O-Ushi's arrival at Shiro Hiruma. Adorai requested Yori's aid to defence Oblivion's Gate while the Darkness infested Yomi, in return with his help against the only power that could defy Yori in the Shadowlands supremacy, Kyoso no Oni. Yori agreed and Tsume guided by Adorai hunted down the rogue Oni Lord. [53]

Burning Words[edit | edit source]

Yori somehow had the Burning Words, a written account of a bargain between Fu Leng and the Shi-Tien Yen-Wang, gaijin Lords of the Dead. Inside the written account was a prophecy, which told of a True Moto who would strike down his brethren. Yori wanted to pass them to other individuals that willingly could accept it, [49] believing it would draw the entire Moto family into the Shadowlands. [54] Yori sensed the power of Iuchi Shahai and met her in Unicorn lands. In 1132 the ruined form of Kuni Yori gave Shahai the Burning Words. The bloodspeaker willingly accepted the quest to find the Unicorn hero. [55]

The Darkness in the Shadowlands[edit | edit source]

When Onnotangu was killed by Hitomi the power of the Darkness unfolded. Adorai strenghtened the ties with Yori. Yori did not truly trust Adorai but the tainted Crab accepted the new ally and undead forces marched alongside the minions of the Shadows. [56] [57]

The Doomseeker[edit | edit source]

Karasu and Yori in the Pearl Prison

The Dark Moto were betrayed by Kamoko and destroyed. [58] In 1133 during the march to Volturnum Iuchi Karasu confronted Yori. With a Naga Pearl and the aid of Oseuth, the reincarnated Warrior of the Pale Eye, Karasu drew both himself and Yori into the magical pearl, stopping Yori's plans. [59] [60] [61] The Pearl Prison eventually found its way into the hands of the Phoenix, who stored it in the temples of Gisei Toshi. [54]

Released[edit | edit source]

Iuchiban's rampage through Gisei Toshi freed both Karasu and Yori in 1165. [54] The pearl was stolen by Iuchiban's lieutenant, Yajinden, who bargained with Yori and freed him. [62]

Legion of Blood[edit | edit source]

Tainted Kuni Yori

In 1166 Kuni Yori joined the Legion of Blood to fight the Legion of the Dead. He hoped of currying favor with Iuchiban, who had proven able to defy even Fu Leng himself. It was Yori's restless spirit who had given Iuchiban the knowledge he required to control Fu Leng's Oni Lords, and Yori who had aided Iuchiban in binding Yogo Junzo's tormented ghost. [54]

Battle[edit | edit source]

As the two forces initially battled for control over the newly forming realm in 1166, Isawa Tsuke released a massive explosion intending to stop the First Oni, but it also disrupted the realm and knocked everyone in it into private memories of critical choices in their lives. The Realm of Thwarted Destiny was testing each of them, to see if they would embrace their destines or reject them. The realm could become a place where those who failed their destinies could repeat their failures for eternity or a place where those who failed could embrace their fates and find redemption. [63]

Gathering his forces between the Mists[edit | edit source]

Yori reached Kyojin and guessed their enemies were marching toward the image of the Oblivion's Gate in this realm. Kyojin refused Yori's command, no longer seeking Iuchiban's aid, who had promised the memories Kyojin lost when became tainted. Yori told Kyojin that he had an agenda different than Iuchiban's one, and Kyojin followed the Kuni. [64]

Oblivion's Gate[edit | edit source]

Yori had discovered that the Oblivion's Gate had enough power to send one soul back to Ningen-do, and planned to use it to restore his own life. [65] He realized Yajinden had sensed the new Realm, and guessed the smither had a secret agenda on these events. His Legion reached first the Gate. Yori ordered his army to repel the Legion of the Dead, an assembled army of the souls of dead heroes, gaining time to discover how to work the Gate. [7] The Legion of the Dead battled him, and denied Yori's return. Eventually Hida Kisada, his former friend and Lord, was the soul who returned to life throught the Gate. [66] Kuni Yori fled to unknown reaches of the Spirit Realms. [67]

See Also[edit | edit source]

Yori Sensei

External Links[edit | edit source]

Preceded by:
Kuni Kaiden
Kuni Daimyo
1109 - 1128
Succeeded by:
Kuni Utagu


  1. Way of the Crab, p. 70
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Legions, Part II, by Shawn Carman and Rich Wulf
  3. Clan War: The Clans, p. 14
  4. 4.0 4.1 Way of the Crab, pp. 70-71
  5. The Book of the Shadowlands, p. 5
  6. The Book of the Shadowlands, p. 55
  7. 7.0 7.1 Legions, Part XI
  8. Twilight Honor, p. 39
  9. 9.0 9.1 Winter Court: Kyuden Seppun, p. 82
  10. Way of the Unicorn p.73
  11. The Legion of the Dead: The Doomseeker
  12. Otosan Uchi: The Scorpion's Sting, p. 54
  13. Otosan Uchi: The Scorpion's Sting, p. 25
  14. Otosan Uchi: The Scorpion's Sting, p. 11
  15. Unexpected Allies 2, p. 51
  16. Winter Court:Kyuden Asako, pp. 14-16
  17. Winter Court:Kyuden Asako, p. 62
  18. The Legend of the Five Rings; Third Edition, p. 19
  19. Winter Court:Kyuden Asako, p. 79
  20. Winter Court:Kyuden Asako, p. 64
  21. Imperial Histories, p. 153
  22. Player's Guide: 2nd Ed, pp. 52-53
  23. The Battle of Beiden Pass: Letter to the Generals
  24. A Stout Heart (Honor Bound Foil Chase Cards flavor)
  25. Time of the Void, pp. 8-9
  26. The Kaiu Walls (Honor Bound Foil Chase Cards flavor)
  27. Clan Letter to the Crab #3 (Imperial Herald v1 #3)
  28. Touch of Fu Leng (Siege: Clan War flavor)
  29. The Bad Death of Hida Amoro, by Rob Vaux
  30. Otosan Uchi: The Scorpion's Sting, p. 65
  31. The Cold Dark Dawn
  32. L5R History, Crimson and Jade (Imperial Herald #15)
  33. Three Days], by Ree Soesbee
  34. 34.0 34.1 Kotei 2003: Hida Kisada, The great Bear
  35. Legions, Part V
  36. Imperial Histories, p. 173
  37. Time of the Void, p. 48
  38. Time of the Void, p. 94
  39. Time of the Void, p. 54
  40. Firelight, by Rob Vaux
  41. Time of the Void, p. 73
  42. Clan Letter to the Crab #7 (Imperial Herald v2 #3)
  43. Clan Letter to the Shadowlands #1 (Imperial Herald v2 #3)
  44. Time of the Void, p. 143
  45. Legend of the Five Rings History: Jade Edition (Imperial Herald #15)
  46. Hitomi and Yakamo
  47. Hidden Emperor, p. 13
  48. Hidden Emperor, p. 14
  49. 49.0 49.1 Clan Letter to the Shadowlands #3 (Imperial Herald v3 #1)
  50. A Hero's Death, by Ree Soesbee
  51. The Storming of Morikage Castle, Part 3, by Ree Soesbee
  52. The Storming of Morikage Castle, Part 1, by Ree Soesbee
  53. Hidden Emperor, p. 52
  54. 54.0 54.1 54.2 54.3 Legion of the Dead and Blood
  55. Hidden Emperor, p. 53
  56. Clan Letter to the Horde #6 (Imperial Herald v3 #4)
  57. Hidden Emperor, p. 55
  58. Clan Letter to the Unicorn #12 (Imperial Herald v3 #4)
  59. Hidden Emperor, p. 80
  60. Shi-Khan Wastelands (Fire and Shadow flavor)
  61. Capturing the Soul (Fire and Shadow flavor)
  62. Legions, Part I, by Shawn Carman and Rich Wulf
  63. Legions, Part III, by Shawn Carman and Rich Wulf
  64. Legions, Part X
  65. Four Winds, p. 115
  66. The Resurrection
  67. Four Winds, p. 115

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